QUIET HEROES: Shawnna Frazer, 24, Grass Valley | TheUnion.com

QUIET HEROES: Shawnna Frazer, 24, Grass Valley

The group I volunteer for: Little Players Performing Arts Day Camp, which offers a variety of performing arts including drama, improvisation, pantomime, modern dance, magic, and performance in group plays and clubs. I also volunteer for the Dragon Squad, a multi-activity athletic club for kids ages 10-13. I own and operate both organizations.

How I got involved: I started teaching drama and P.E .at Scotten Elementary School four years ago and found my calling. I love working with the kids and wanted a way to spend more time with children. I also hope to teach life lessons such as responsibility, commitment, social skills, dependability and public-speaking skills.

Why I think this group’s work is important: It provides kids with a safe and supportive environment where they can feel free to express themselves openly and enjoy the company of other adults and kids with similar interests.

The best thing that ever happened to me on this volunteer job was when: A small group of kids I directed in a nonprofit play called me up and thanked me for the experience and told me they all wanted to be actors when they grew up. Three boys I have been teaching for three years spontaneously thanked me for introducing them to each other, and they are now best friends. They thanked me for being someone they can trust.

The rewards I get from this volunteer job are: Smiles, hugs and love from my kids. When a child tells me he/she wants to be an actor/dancer when they grow up, or when they use their time in the spotlight to thank me or the volunteers for the organizations, and when the kids tell me they’ve been changed by the groups and that it feels like family, I’m rewarded.

Other volunteer jobs I’ve done: I volunteer hundreds of hours at Scotten directing extracurricular plays. I’m also grateful to Nicole Riendeau, Daniel Frazer and Marcus Bezuhly as frequent volunteers for both the Dragon Squad and Little Players.

I’ve lived in Nevada County since: Forever.

I like living here because: It still has the small-town friendly feeling where, while walking down the sidewalk, a stranger says hello with a smile and a wave while passing by.

The most important job that faces us as a community is: To raise our kids. I feel they are “our” kids. After all, they are our future. Kids need activities that appeal to their varying interests and help them to discover who they are and what is important to them. Kids grow up far too fast these days.

I think volunteerism is important because: It’s important to me to maintain a healthy perspective on life. Far too often people, in their super-busy lives, feel either that they have no means by which to give back, or feel someone else will do the job. It’s easier than you think. I’m only 24 and was clueless (more or less) about how to go about the founding of these organizations, but have managed to be successful in all accounts with a lot of hard work and an amazing support system.

“Quiet Heroes” appears each Thursday. If you know of a volunteer who is a quiet hero, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.

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